Something In The Orange was released in April 2022 by Zach Bryan and became an instant hit. While he is relatively new to the country music scene, this was the track that cemented his place in the genre and showcased the incredible songwriting skills he has at his disposal. While the poetic nature of the track may be lost on many, we’ll use this article to dissect the sad meanings of the ballad and hopefully leave you excited for his future releases.
The Writing and Success of “Something In The Orange”
Bryan began writing and producing songs in 2017, uploading his version of classic country music to YouTube and producing two independent albums while he was serving in the US Navy. He would later sign a deal with Warner Records for his first studio album and third overall.
While the meaning of the track may make fans think it was spawned from a traumatic experience suffered by him, it was a lot more simple than that. He wrote the song while spending time in a cabin in Wisconsin and watching the sunset. Most artists would try to avoid the word ‘orange’ for a song thanks to its notoriously difficult nature in forming rhymes, but he handled it flawlessly. While a deeply emotional track, the writing of it was inspired by a simple sunset and some time to himself.
Something In The Orange is one of the biggest crossover hits to be released in recent years. It became Bryan’s first song to top the country charts when it reached the number-one position there very quickly after release. It then slowly climbed up the US Billboard Hot 100 after finding play through streaming and on mainstream radio, rising from number 55 up to number 10 on that chart.
Something In The Orange wouldn’t stop at just being a hit on the charts. Its massive success would earn him the top spot on Billboard’s Top Songwriters chart in 2022 and see him receive a nomination for Best Country Performance at the Grammy Awards.
The Meanings Hidden Inside of “Something In The Orange”
Look, Something In The Orange isn’t a complicated track, but the poetic songwriting of the lyrics for it may confuse some listeners. Despite its simple origin, the track comes off as Bryan laying bare his emotions and sadness in an incredibly soulful country ballad. The meaning of the song isn’t hidden, it doesn’t have double meanings, and it doesn’t shy away from powerful emotion. It’s easy to understand at a glance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of imagery and metaphors.
In essence, it is a track about the end of a relationship. It sees the narrator trying to face the fact that it’s over. It even covers different stages of grief pretty well. In the beginning, he’s still trying to convince himself that there’s still a chance for the two of them, summed up in the line ‘Somethin’ in the orange tells me we’re not done.’
Compare that to the last line of the next verse, ‘…somethin’ in the orange, Tells me you’re not comin’ home,’ and you can see that he’s moved from denial to acceptance pretty quickly. That shift doesn’t take away the fact that he’s hurt though. In fact, he’s mad as hell and grief-stricken throughout the song.
The orange he’s talking about in the track is a sunset, but it symbolizes so much more. For one, the sunset in the song is the end of the relationship. Sunsets are common metaphors for the end, as they signal the end of the day for most. In the track, it’s the end. While he hopes it comes back up and he sees the sun in the morning, the sunset is telling him something different.
It’s also important to point out that the orange color washing over everything is the nostalgia that keeps him blind to the problems with the relationship and makes him yearn for her to come back. Seeing everything painted in orange sunlight reminds him of the good times and makes him feel lost, because just like when the sun sets, it’s slowly fading away as he watches it.
Once he realizes that it’s the end, he needs to be rid of that nostalgia to be able to start the healing process. If she sticks around at all, it’ll only make him keep trying to convince himself that it isn’t over and prolong the pain he’s in right now.
There are great depictions of the feelings of hopelessness and being lost in the song as well. From him not knowing where he’s supposed to go next to knowing if he says he misses her, her reply won’t be the same.
In the end, Something In The Orange is one of the best country ballads about the end of a relationship to come out in my lifetime. It captures the essence of all the emotions that go into it while simultaneously delivering on the grieving process the narrator knows he is going to go through.
The Legacy of the Song
Something In The Orange is relatively new, it doesn’t have some long-standing legacy and it didn’t spawn a new genre. So, why am I bothering with writing up this section of the article at all?
The impact that the song will have on the country music genre, and music as a whole, is yet to be decided. It became a major hit track, combining old-school country storytelling with a fresh sound. It has everything that a lot of newer party and pop-country music lacks, but it still holds the attention of the music world as a whole.
In the end, it proved that songwriting and storytelling in songs are still a powerful force and anyone who enjoyed this song should be very excited for Bryan’s career and the future of country music as a whole.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.